The fifth season of the highly acclaimed drama Game of Thrones sets new records, and not all are of the good kind. While the first episode broke ratings records, piracy also surged to new highs. Around 32 million people pirated Game of Thrones episodes through torrent sites during the first week after the premiere.
According to media intelligence firm Tru Optik, the first episode of the series was downloaded over 13 million times, thus exceeding the 8 million watermark set by last season’s finale. Moreover, the first four episodes leaked before the premiere. Citing the same source, these four instalments plus the documentary “A Day in the Life” were downloaded a whopping 32 million times across 18 million IP-addresses during the first week.
The majority of the downloads originated in the United States, but the same data shows that Australia has the most Game of Thrones downloaders per capita. Moreover, it also has a relatively high piracy ratio compared to legal views. Off all the people who watched Game of Thrones in Australia during the first three days, 32 percent are pirates.
This is likely because of availability. While US users can catch GoT on HBO, but also on HBO Go and HBO Now, in Australia Game of Thrones is only available on Foxtel and Foxtel Play, while Quickflix only owns transactional streaming (“stream to own”) rights to the series.
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